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When Rising Unemployment is a Good Sign


Unemployment rose in the Quad Cities last month, but that's mostly a good sign. The rate rose from 4.1 per cent in December of last year, to 4.5 per cent last month.

Tom Austin from the Illinois Department of Employment Security says a strong economy here and nationwide encouraged some people to start looking for work who hadn't been before.

"Employment has increased over the year but we did see a slight uptick then in the number of people unemployed as those new entrants in the labor force didn't all find employment right away."

This area gained more than 2,000 jobs in December, compared to the same month a year ago, with most of the gains, 900, in manufacturing. There were also increases in leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services.

Our job losses mainly occurred in retail.

The unemployment rate rose in 13 of Illinois' 14 major metropolitan areas in December. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.